This week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe from My Paris Kitchen is one of my favourite French café meals. A croque monsieur (unceremoniously names a “Fried cheese and ham sandwich” here) is a sandwich filled with the goodness of béchamel, cheese and ham. Over the years I’ve had many iterations of this – it comes under many guises…
(classic square slices of white bread version at Café Marly)
And sometimes it’s topped with an egg… making it a Croque Madame…
(this version was at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville and they cleverly made the béchamel look like it was part of the egg)
Basically you get a really good loaf of country bread, make a béchamel sauce (you can find David’s recipe here), then slather two slices of bread with that. Layer on the ham (I used prosciutto) and cheese (I used Gruyère) and close your sandwich up. It’s “fried” only in so much that the outside is brushed in butter then it’s pan fried in a heavy skillet weighted down with another heavy skillet. I like my Croques gooey on the inside and light on the cheese outside but it’s definitely personal preference. I added an egg to make a quick dinner last weekend – and a green salad would be the perfect accompaniment to this. Oh, and a glass of rosé 😉
I’ve made this before and will definitely make it again. Classic French café dishes don’t get much better! I had a few leftovers which I MacGyvered into another delicious meal – come back next week to check it out!
Get the recipe for Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (Croque Monsieur) on page 137 of My Paris Kitchen.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.